Program Staff

Debora A. Clem

Administrative Director

Georgia CTSA Clinical Research Centers (GCRCs) / Emory University

Emory University Hospital


Debora Clem earned a Bachelor of Science degree in biology from North Georgia College in 1985. She began her career as a Science Librarian with the Chattanooga-Hamilton County Public Library in Chattanooga, TN before transitioning in 1996 to a Special Librarian position first with the Tennessee Aquarium in Chattanooga and then with Zoo Atlanta in 1998. She began her academic career in 2001, as a Clinical Research Coordinator in the Department of Medicine, Renal Division at Emory. She joined the General Clinical Research Center, now Participant & Clinical Interactions (PCI) of the Georgia CTSA, in 2005. She assumed the role of Administrative Director of the PCI in 2011 and completed the requirements to become a Certified Research Administrator in 2013.

Bridget Strong-Benson, MBA

Associate Executive Director, Clinical Research Support Services

Quality & Efficiency, Emory University, Office for Clinical Research

Bridget is responsible for planning, implementing, managing, and continuously improving clinical research programs related to FDA-regulated clinical trials and research billing compliance. Before joining Emory in 2006, Bridget was a lead clinical research coordinator for the University of Florida Health at Shands Hospital, leading various clinical trials involving interventional radiology, nuclear medicine, neuroradiology, women's imaging, and cardiac MRI/CT imaging. Previously, she was a research assistant with the University of South Alabama Institutional Review Board, managing clinical studies in biomedical and socio-behavioral sciences. Bridget is a PhD candidate and holds an advanced doctoral certificate in Human Services and Public Health from Walden University and MBA from Florida Metropolitan University.

Delta Humphries, MPH

Clinical Research Navigator, Clinical Research Support Services

Quality & Efficiency / Emory University, Office for Clinical Research


Delta joined the Clinical Research Support Services Team as a Clinical Research Navigator. Before coming to Emory, she worked in the research department at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center. Since arriving at Emory in 2021, Delta has worked as a Clinical Research Coordinator II at the Winship Cancer Institute and a Clinical Research Coordinator III with the School of Medicine on the Digestive Disease Team. Delta’s educational background includes a Bachelor of Arts in Biological Sciences from the University of Mississippi and a Master’s in Public Health with an Emphasis on Health Administration and Policy. She is currently enrolled at Central Michigan University, pursuing a doctorate in Health Administration.

Bekeela Davila, MPH

Program and Research Manager

Pilot Grants


Bekeela Davila graduated from the University of Illinois in 2006 with a Bachelor of Science in Broadcast Journalism degree. She began her career in 2007 at the University of Illinois as an Office Support Specialist. She then earned a Master of Public Health degree and a Graduate Certificate in Community Health Education from University of Illinois in 2008. In 2010, she worked at the University of Illinois as a Graduate Education Coordinator. She went on to the Arthritis Foundation, National Office in 2012 and served in the role of Information and Referral Coordinator. In 2014, Bekeela joined Emory University as a Senior Public Health Program Associate in the Rollins School of Public Health. She became the Program and Research Manager for the Atlanta Clinical & Translational Science Institute in 2015.

Lauren James

Associate Program Director

Collaboration and Multi-Disciplinary Team Science / Emory University

Lauren James graduated from Florida State University (FSU) in 2013 with a Bachelor of Science in Hospitality and Business Management. After graduation, Lauren moved to Atlanta to work in Hospitality Management and later joined the City of Atlanta’s Parks and Recreation department. Lauren joined the Georgia CTSA in May 2019 as a Senior Program Coordinator for Collaboration and Multi-Disciplinary Team Science.

Rachel Hardison

Assistant Director, Programs

Research Education Programs / Emory University


Rachel Hardison graduated from the University of Virginia in 2002 with a degree in Germanic Languages & Literatures. After spending two years teaching in Germany, Rachel completed a Master of Arts in Foreign Language Pedagogy at the University of Delaware. She taught German at Widener University and the University of South Carolina and then transitioned to working in higher education program administration. She spent seven years in the Study Abroad Office at the University of South Carolina, followed by six years in an institutional relations role with the University Studies Abroad Consortium (USAC), a non-profit study abroad organization. Rachel joined the Research Education Programs staff at the Georgia CTSA as an Assistant Director of Programs in November 2021.

Cheryl Sroka

Project Coordinator

Research Education Programs / Emory University


Cheryl Sroka graduated from King’s Business College in Raleigh, NC, then attended North Carolina State University and Kennesaw State University. She has worked as a Deputy Clerk of the Wake County Superior Court, legal secretary, life and health insurance agent, and business broker. Before coming to Emory in December 1990, she was in public relations at Georgia Institute of Technology.

Alexey Kurbatov, MSc

Information Analyst

Research Education


Alexey Kurbatov graduated from the Samara State Aerospace University in 1998 with a MSc Degree in Computer Science. Alexey has served at different levels throughout his career as a software and database developer, system analyst, change management and IT compliance coordinator. In 2008, he joined the Research Education Programs of Georgia Clinical & Translational Science Alliance as the Information Analyst.

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Karen A. Lindsley DNP, RN, CDE, CCRC


Coordinating Center / Emory University


Karen Lindsley graduated from the University of Pittsburgh with a Master of Science in Nursing degree. In 2017, she completed a Doctorate of Nursing Practice (DNP) in Health Systems Administration at Emory University School of Nursing. Lindsley is also certified as a diabetes educator and clinical research coordinator. She has worked in various roles as a diabetes educator for the Mayo Medical Center and the Joslin Diabetes Clinic and as a clinical research nurse and research supervisor at Emory University, School of Medicine, Pediatric Endocrinology and Diabetes. In June 2018, Lindsley joined the Georgia Clinical & Translational Science Alliance as the Manager of the Research Coordinating Center and Regulatory Knowledge & Support (RKS).

Mugisha Niyibizi

Senior Research Administration Coordinator

Recruitment Center / Emory University


Mugisha Niyibizi graduated from The Pennsylvania State University in 2012 with a Bachelor of Science in Biology. She worked in virology research laboratory to continue research projects she began during her undergraduate years. In 2013, Mugisha moved to Atlanta and started the Master of Public Health program at the Rollins School of Public Health at Emory University. She graduated in 2015 with an MPH in Epidemiology and worked for the Emory School of Medicine in the division of Rheumatology as a Public Health Program Associate. Mugisha joined the Georgia CTSA in February 2018 as a Senior Research Administrative Coordinator for the Recruitment Center.

Michael Proctor

Technical Project Manager

Informatics / Emory University

Michael Proctor earned his Bachelor of Science degree in Telecommunication Management from DeVry University in 2003. Before his Emory career, Michael worked at Georgia Institute of Technology as an IT Professional for the past 15 years. During the last five years, Michael managed all technology related to the Georgia Tech Online Master’s programs as a Senior System Engineer. He joined the Georgia CTSA as a Technical Project Manager in February 2021.

Morgan Greenleaf

Innovation Catalyst Technical Project Manager

Innovation Catalyst / Emory University


Morgan graduated from the University of Virginia in 2008 with a Bachelor of Science in Electrical Engineering. Following graduation, Morgan moved to Atlanta to join Cox Communications as a project manager and product manager. Next, Morgan joined Accenture's consulting practice focused on product development for telecom and network clients. Morgan then completed a Master of Science in Product Management from Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh while developing antibiotic resistance diagnostic tools for low resource microbiology laboratories. Most recently, Morgan was the product manager for mobile apps at Dick's Sporting Goods. In 2020, Morgan joined Georgia CTSA's Innovation Catalyst program where he focuses on developing mobile applications.

Nikki Llewellyn, PhD

Associate Director, Research Projects

Evaluation & Continuous Improvement / Emory University

Nikki Llewellyn graduated from Emory University in 2003 with a Bachelor of Science in neuroscience and behavioral biology. After graduation, she worked as a Research Coordinator at the Fuqua Center for Late-Life Depression, part of the Department of Psychiatry at Emory. In 2005, she moved on to the University of Cambridge in the U.K, where she coordinated epidemiological research projects at the European Prospective Investigation of Cancer (EPIC-Norfolk), part of the Department of Public Health and Primary Care. Nikki later returned to the U.S. to pursue a Ph.D. in developmental psychology, specializing in social and biological factors affecting mental illness; she graduated in 2015. She returned to Emory in 2016, joining the Evaluation & Continuous Improvement program of Georgia CTSA.

Amy Stehlik

Associate Director, Communications

Emory University

Amy Stehlik earned a Bachelor of Science degree in marketing from Ball State University. While continuing her education in the Master of Business Administration program at Georgia State University, she began her career in marketing at S&P Global. She spent the next decade at Thomson Reuters, progressing to a VP of Marketing. During the next 10 years, she worked as the VP of Marketing, Communications, & Media Relations for a marketing and media agency with Rollins School of Public Health as a client. Prior to joining the Georgia CTSA in February 2019, she served as a strategic marketing consultant to Emory University.